Saturday, October 16, 2004

Alan Garner in the Guardian

An excellent profile of Alan Garner in the Guardian. I loved this guy's books when I was younger--they really are special--this reminds me to get them again now. I reread a couple a few years ago and they are still truly excellent. I think there may be a few later ones that I haven't read before. And the article included mention of another book I read a little while ago and really liked:

Francis Spufford, in his memoir of childhood reading, The Child that Books Built (2002), praises Garner's achievement in 'reintroducing myth into the bloodstream of daily life'. He saw Garner as part of an amazing generation of talent at work as the 1960s ended and in the 1970s, citing William Mayne, Peter Dickinson, Jill Paton Walsh, Joan Aiken, Diana Wynne-Jones, Rosemary Sutcliffe and Leon Garfield.

Spufford's book took me back into the world of my childhood reading in the 1970s--he must be just a few years older than I am, and I read a lot more English stuff than American, so it was like reading a book written by myself in some altered state. It is true that Dickinson, Aiken, Wynne-Jones, Sutcliffe, Garner et al. really transported me, then and now. It would be amazing to write books like that.

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